What to Wear in London (& What I Wore)

Even though I would never let my attire hinder having an extraordinary travel experience, for me proper planning does include a Google search for the latest fashion trends of wherever I am going to visit. Mostly, to avoid having “Tourist” stamped across my forehead. As if having a camera hanging around my neck wasn’t a convincing enough sign. Deciding what to wear in London was a process that mostly focused on hunting for the cute and comfortable travel boots. But, what I should have been focusing on was skirts, stockings and skinnys.

London is full of extremely well-dressed folks wearing proper blue suits, mid-thigh skirts, skinny pants and stockings in a variety of colors.

I rarely see women wearing stockings in my Northern California hometown and I have not owned a pair since the 90s. We are very casual in Sonoma County; jeans and a blouse is evening attire. This wouldn’t have been proper for what to wear in London.

Londoners are pretty dapper dressers.

What to Wear in London (& What I Wore)

Stand to the right on the London tube

Most ladies donned the simplest black stockings, but several others got creative with color and pattern.

Boots were all the rage, just not the knee-high ones that I had painstakingly purchased. Anything mid-calf or lower was fashionable, in particular ankle boots.

Note to self: Get a pair of ankle boots before heading back to London.

Skinny jeans, which are a fantastic boot companion, were scattered throughout the streets. Mostly on men. And they came in an assortment of shades, the least popular being the standard blue jean.

Suits & Ties: The pubs, London underground and shops were filled with them. That is something I could get used to. Easily.

London Tube Tips: Check the Signs

When I packed my suitcase, I did some things right…and some things wrong.

The Good: Not only did my large crossbody bag fit my DSLR camera, maps and guidebooks, but it was also in style. Another good is that I only brought skinny jeans.

The Bad: The puffy jacket was so “hot” in Italy two years ago, not so much in London today. My knee-high Leslie Sharon boots gave me miles of comfort, but not a place on the cities best dressed list.

Annette's clothing in London

Do you research fashion trends before traveling? Do you go for comfort or style when traveling?

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24 thoughts on “What to Wear in London (& What I Wore)”

  1. Well, you look cute even with the puffy coat! lol. When I was working in London a fellow Canadian co-worker showed up on Casual Friday in July not wearing stockings. A British colleague pulled me aside and was like, "Do people not wear stockings in Canada?!" Haha. She was horrified. I had to give my co-worker this awkward "you have to wear stockings here even in summer" talk.

  2. You still look adorable trendy or not.  I never look up trends when I travel, maybe its because I just  roll and shove my clothes into a backpack, and just hope they will dry before my train leaves the next day after washing them in the sink.  In China I think I wore the same two things for pretty much the entire trip, at least that's what it looks like in my photos.  I do bring a straightener though!   I can't live without that. 

    • Totally agree with you on the short boots in London. We were in London for a day, then took the fast train to Paris for two days, and then down to St. Raphael in the French Riviera. My daughter and I couldn’t believe all the short, black boots the women were wearing. Mainly Dr. Marten’s or similar. So cute!!! London was rainy and windy.

      Everyone in Paris was wearing white sneakers!!!! It was warmer there. Then when we got to the French Riviera everyone dressed casual except when we were in Monaco!!!

      It was a challenge to bring clothes for the three places and different climates!!!

  3. Aww I loved London! I was studying abroad and had actually packed sensibly…not fashionably… d'oh! So I felt rather out of place in London. Sadly, I had to go home two weeks in for a death in the family, and when I returned to my studies abroad I decided to bring some more clothes over. A trench coat is a must, as are skinny jeans and boots!

    • I was trying to decide between bringing a trench coat or a puffy jacket. But, I opted for the less trendy puffy jacket because it was the warmer of the two!

  4. Londoners are SO dapper!  When we were there we tried to bring nice clothing to blend in better, and we still didn't look half as good as everyone else we saw.  I guess we've just become to "california casual", lol.

  5. Yes, I do research trends before going on a trip too! I like how you noticed the same things about London fashion that I have noticed. I am loving the patterned stockings and skinny jeans trend now going in London. Hope your having fun!

  6. I love fashion! (I even studied fashion in art school for a bit) I can't wait to check out the style in London later this year…a lot of my friends always talk about it! One of my friends did a holiday working visa there and couldn't stop talking about the fashion there! :)

    • The fashion in London is definitely more progressive than my little Northern California towns :)

  7. So so happy for this post and all others regarding London. We will have a ten hour layover there on our way to India. Although I can't pack uber cute clothes (like yours) and some of the fashionable Londoners…I can lust after the cute ankle boots and effortless european looks. 

    • That is the perfect way to explain London fashion, “effortless”. Have a great time, you can do a lot in 10 hours!

  8. I love that your posts are so digestible to readers. They are simple, yet thoughtful, and they capture an array of interests, from crazy foods, to fashion, like this one. Im excited to be a subscriber! :) I had never thought of researching fashion trends before traveling, but maybe I will now :) 

  9. In a professional business setting in Japan, you are required to wear stockings as well. The thing that struck me as odd, though, is that a lot of Japanese women choose to wear stockings when any part of their legs are exposed. So weird! (and borderline disturbing when they are wearing open toed shoes). 
    It depends on the location, but I definitely try to err on the side of dressy, especially when traveling within Japan. 

  10. I do research depending where I'm travelling (and sometimes not at all). For example, when I went to Morocco I did some googling to make sure my clothing wouldn't offend anyone, but there is no way I could pass as a local no matter what I was wearing, so I didn't care about trendiness. 
    London is different, though. my accent will give me away as soon as I open my mouth and I always have a camera (I *am* a photographer, so I often have one even in my town :D), but I don't want my clothes to give me away. 
    thanks for the tips! 

    • Yep, the camera would be a giveaway. Though I stowed mine in my extra large handbag, by the end of the trip I just kept it dangling around my neck because it was too much of a hassle to keep pulling it out!

  11. What I always find funny in London is these very neatly dressed (business looking) women… walking around on running shoes.
    I guess they keep their heels in their handbags for when they’re at the office:)


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Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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